— CT Sports Now (@CT_Sports_Now) November 23, 2017
WINDSOR — Middletown capped its first undefeated regular season since 1985 with a dominating 24-7 win over previously unbeaten Windsor in front of 1,500 at Jack O’Brien Stadium Wednesday night.
“Our defense was outstanding,” Middletown coach Sal Morello said. “This one is really sweet. Windsor has been a hurdle for us. We handled that early adversity, but once we got even I could feel the confidence grow.”
Middletown limited Windsor to 79 yards offense for the game, intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble. The Warriors had one first down in the first half.
The early adversity of which Morello spoke came when Dohnje Casanova intercepted a Stone Belzo pass and returned it for a 12-yard touchdown just 84 seconds into the game.
But it was all Middletown all the time after that.
And that interception was the only real mistake Belzo made as he finished with 10 completions in 14 tries for 73 yards and a touchdown.
He also ran for 43 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns.
“Belzo is a winner,” Morello said. “He may not light up the stat page, but he wins.”
Belzo said the early mistake didn’t faze him.
“Coach Morello preaches never flinch,” Belzo said. “So I just kept thinking next series, next series.”
Middletown tied the game 7-7 when Belzo ran 11 yards for a TD with 7:56 left in the second quarter.
The Dragons made it 14-7 when Belzo leaped across the goal line from two yards out with 24.9 seconds left in the half.
Mike Aresco added to his state record by kicking a 28-yard field goal at 6:44 of the third and Middletown led 17-7 going to the fourth.
In that quarter, Middletown (10-0) added a nine-yard touchdown on a pass from Belzo to DeAaron Lawrence.
Belzo was 5-for-5 in the second half. Xzavier Reyes rushed for 98 yards on 27 carries.
“My receivers are so good,” Belzo said. “They work so hard in practice so that when I make a bad pass, they save me. It’s great to have a running back like Reyes, too.”
Windsor coach Rob Fleeting said his defense played well.
“But our offense didn’t play well and our special teams were bad, “Fleeting said. “But Middletown is a very good team. They are excellent up front on both sides of the ball. Very physical.”
Middletown finished with 227 yards with 154 coming on the ground.
Middletown clinched a Class L home playoff game to be played Tuesday. Windsor (9-1) will also be one of the eight playoff teams.